Today I (Karl)
walked into a hardware store to buy a splitter for the hose to our
washing machine so that we could run a hose for a sink/baby bath as
well. I wasn’t sure of the word for “hose
splitter” or exactly how to describe it in Thai but fortunately I
happened to see a box containing a bunch of what looked like hose
splitters. I picked one up and asked the store employee who was helping me if this was for use with a hose. He said “Yes” and pointed to the hoses so I figured I would pick his brain to get the exact Thai word for “hose splitter”. Holding up the splitter in front of me, I asked in Thai, “What is this called?” Looking at me as if I was some kind of moron, he said very slowly, “Pla-st-ic”. Ah yes, it is made of plastic. I knew that. Obviously the intent of my question was not abundantly clear. I tried rephrasing my question and eventually got the Thai word that I had wanted. I bought a hammer too and that went a little more successfully.
After being away from Thailand
for a number of years, my general conversational ability is decent but
I lack some of the specific vocab for places like the pharmacy or the
hardware store. Some of it I knew but forgot and some of it I never knew. Much more to learn. Tomorrow is a another day to risk looking like a moron but it is also an opportunity to learn something new.